favorites from 2011. an awesome year in music
Unto the Locust
Having only listened to this a few times, I can't accurately judge my ranking
of this, but the last few songs were really, really good.
A good, solid rock release, and much better than their previous offerings.
This album was pretty good, and with more listens I feel like it will probably
move up on the list. The title track is awesome.
|22||The Human Abstract|
A solid release. Definitely lost appeal over time, though.
Until We Have Faces
While I'm not a huge fan of more mainstream-rock sounding bands, this
band isn't completely cliche, and for that, it gets a spot here. A few of the
songs aren't really worth listening to, but overall it's a solid album.
Didn't like this at all at first, though it grew on me. I'm a fan of the first few
tracks. Things seem to blend together towards the middle, though-- yet
they end on a good note with Folklore and Marrow of the Earth. Interested
to see what Opeth does next.
This album is dark, heavy, intense. Not many moments to breathe on this
one, but it's still pretty awesome.
I Was Here for a Moment, Then I Was Gone
An amazing post rock album that doesn't fall into the staleness of the genre.
Bon Iver, Bon Iver
A gorgeous album, full of lush instrumentation and a sound that wasn't
explored at all on For Emma. I love the emotional aspect of this album, and,
unlike most, really liked that 80s song that closes the album.
I feel slightly flamboyant putting this on my list, but I feel that way listening
to it to so w/e. A fun, catchy pop album.
A perfection of the sound of Paradise Lost, Iconoclast is a heavy, intense
release. It definitely needs more progressive and slower moments, as
"When All is Lost" is definitely the best song on this album.
While Shogun is still stronger than this album, In Waves is still a solid
release, with some really good songs.
|13||Protest the Hero|
Giving Rody the pen for this album was an odd decision, one that I feel like
worked for the most part-- although I miss some of the storytelling aspect
from the previous albums. This album is quite satirical in places, and it's
very catchy. I miss the heavier vocals, though.
|12||The Dear Hunter|
The Color Spectrum (Complete Collection)
This collection of EPs is one of the best out there. The Green EP is my
favorite thing TDH have ever released, and the other EPs are just as
Grace for Drowning
Deform to Form a Star. That is all.
I was a fan of Periphery's debut, and this album is similar to that in a lot of
ways, just with a saxophone and better vocals. However, I feel like
Periphery is going to surprise us all with their 2012 offerings, so for now,
though I feel Ever Forthright's debut has been stronger, who knows.
Let Yourself Be Huge
Beacons was an album that I felt like didn't have a dull moment on it. LYBH
continues that trend, albeit in a softer, more acoustically driven way.
Overall, the album is very strong, and the closing title track is one of
|8||Scale the Summit|
Instrumental prog at its best.
While I liked Aquarius, it didn't strike me as a gem of the prog genre,
despite being very nice. Visions, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic,
and shows the band tightening up their sound, perfecting it, and adding a
new cohesiveness that was definitely needed. "Deathless" is my favorite
song from the album, and probably my favorite by them in general.
|6||Between the Buried and Me|
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
Despite this being an EP, it still makes my list as one of the best releases of
the year. "Lunar Wilderness" is perhaps one of their greatest songs yet,
and the whole EP just has a space-y atmosphere to it.
|5||August Burns Red|
I was incredibly impressed by the experimentation introduced on
Constellations, and this release just took that further in some parts. While
I'd like to see them tackle even more new terrain, this album is still great,
"Salt & Light" being my favorite of the tracks.
"Words in the Water" is my favorite song of 2011, and the album that it's
on is definitely one of the best things I've heard all year. While Beggars
was amazing, this release just takes that sound and furthers it, even strips
it down in a few places.
I really liked Crack the Skye, but this release took Mastodon from a band in
my library to one of my absolute favorites. The album, as a whole, is just
A Dramatic Turn of Events
Though I wasn't as disappointed as some people with BC&SL, this release
impressed me to no end. Definitely my third favorite album they've put out,
behind I&W and SDOIT. Would have probably been even more well-
received had the whole lolMikePortnoy drama not occured, but then we
wouldn't have gotten this album, so all's well that ends well, or whatever.
|1||Fair to Midland|
Arrows and Anchors
Fables is one of my favorite albums ever, and the follow-up is right there
with it. All of the songs are fantastic- "Short-Haired Tornado" being my
favorite. "The Greener Grass" is also magnificent, and I definitely want them
to do more longer songs in the future.